Wide release for Chinese-Australian animated co-pro

30 May, 2014 by Don Groves

Kung Fu Style, the first of three animated features co-produced by Australia’s Vue Group and Shanghai Hippo Animation Design, will be released on at least 9,500 screens in China.

That’s according to Alan Lindsay, managing director of the Vue Group, which has an animation studio in Bunbury, WA.


Due to be completed in two months, Kung Fu Style is a 3D comedy-adventure directed by Kerr Xu, the Shanghai Hippo Animation Design CEO, scripted by Kerr, Gu Xiao and Cao Yingjie.

“We were offered the opportunity to contribute to the very first Kung Fu Style film and took it, “Lindsay tells IF. “It’s a stunning fun action movie, wildly imaginative, very engaging, with damned good animation that will satisfy kids and adults.”

The plot follows Kung Fu kid Dodo Lee, who dreams of being a star at Oscar Lei’s studio but is stuck as a puppeteer in his never satisfied father’s show. When Dodo encounters super star Kitty Mo, dream and reality clash and the pair find themselves in a fight between good and evil orchestrated by the power crazed Oscar.

Set in a steam-punk world of decaying buildings, the film studio is in a washed up cruise liner. Manic chase scenes occur along treacherous mountain trails with flying motorbikes, tanks and fish.

David Rutherford, Vue's creative director of animation and VFX together with VFX supervisor Gyuri Kiss lead the team of animators, a mix of staffers and contractors, in Bunbury.

Casting is underway in Australia and the US for the voice roles for the English- language version. Lindsay says negotiations are ongoing for an Australian distributor and for international sales.

When the co-venture was unveiled at SPA's Screen Forever last year, Kerr told IF the Chinese partners will fund 80% of the projects with the balance from Australia. The total production budget for the three films to be co-produced by the Vue Group and Hippo would exceed $57 million.

Linsday says production has started on the second co-pro, Perfect Friends (Farm House 2), and a third is due to start before the end of the year.